Understanding employer's hiring intentions in relation to qualified workers with disabilities: Preliminary findings

Robert T. Fraser, Kurt Johnson, James Hebert, Icek Ajzen, Jana Copeland, Pat Brown, Fong Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction: As part of the planning process for a larger survey study to examine factors affecting employers' intention to hire and hiring of people with disabilities, a series of three semi-structured focus groups were held with key hiring decision makers, such as Human Resources directors, Chief Operating Officers (COOs), or Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of small, medium, and large Seattle area companies. Aim The chief goals of the focus groups were to elicit and refine the participants' beliefs, normative influences, and perceived control relative to hiring workers with disabilities. Method: Narrative data obtained from the focus group discussion were examined using the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) to identify themes expressed by the focus group participants within the context of company size. Results: Themes did vary by company size, but a prevailing concern across all companies related to questions about the efficiency/effectiveness of contact with vocational rehabilitation agencies. For both small- and mid-sized companies, there was a belief that people with disabilities could not do the work or were somehow less qualified. For large companies, convincing departmental and team managers that outreaching workers with disabilities would be a worthwhile hiring practice remained a challenge. Conclusion: The themes derived from this study can be used to help occupational rehabilitation professionals develop educational and marketing interventions to improve employers' attitudes toward hiring and retaining individuals with disabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-426
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Occupational Rehabilitation
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Dec 1

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Rehabilitation
  • Occupational Therapy

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